Flipping And Flopping For Greg Goode
File under: Gurubusting
A lion of gurubusting and a hero to this writer, Greg Goode has a new ebook out, Standing As Awareness. He posted an excerpt at the Nondual Philosophy Yahoo! group, reproduced for you here:
"Why Wasn’t I Enlightened at Satsang?"But Gregji, how are these gurus going to make any money if they don't have their smoke and mirrors to sell?
Q: I have been attending satsangs for years. I’ve gotten very close to enlightenment. In fact a few times the teacher told me I was actually There. But then it seemed to go away. This has happened to lots of others too. Why??
A: Many satsang attendees report this. It seems like this experience came, then went, correct?
A: This coming and going is called the “flip-flop.” It’s one of the main dynamics at most satsangs, as well as their main problem. It is the onset of a very transcendent experience, followed by its departure.
Q: Yes, that’s right.
A: Now at satsang, didn’t the teacher tell you that it is not about having an experience?
Q: Yes. They all say that.
A: And yet you are wondering about the onset and disappearance of an experience.
Q: Uh, I guess so. (smiling sheepishly) I think it is because at those times, I am in contact with my true nature.
A: And at other times, you are not, correct?
Q: Yes, that’s right. It is blocked.
A: This is due to some of the satsang teachings themselves. One well known teaching is that at some moments there is a direct, experiential, knowing contact with your nature, while at most other times this knowledge is veiled or confused by story, belief, doubt, fear, anger or scattered-mindedness. According to the “veil” teaching, there are certain moments at satsang where the student has heart-opening, oceanic, loving, emotionally blissful experiences. It is taught that during these moments, the normally occluding veils have dropped away, giving the student a direct experience of their true nature. Sometimes it’s called a “free sample.”
Not all satsangs teach this. It’s less common than it used to be, as some of the teachers seem to have recognized problems with it. But the veil teaching sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
Q: Yes, this sounds pretty familiar. And I must say, it sounds pretty good, too. Are you saying that something is wrong with it?
A: It tends to identify the timeless truth of your nature with a coming-and-going experience. And it is based on the false assumption that there are times in which you are not in direct contact with your nature. It creates the expectation that to be enlightened, to be free, one must perpetually have the same blissful, expanded experiences. Because all experiences come and go, this impossible expectation leads to repeated frustration and actually borders on nihilism. The teaching that a veil can come between you and your nature, and that you peek through the veil at those times when you feel open, confuses a particular feeling of openness with the openness from which feelings arise. You are always in direct contact with your nature as awareness. Enlightenment does not reside in a feeling; it is much vaster, sweeter, and more effortless than this. There is deep irony in this. In the satsang teachings, these oceanic states are usually not seen as experiences, since satsang is primarily interested in coarser and more tangible experiences such as emotions. But since they come and go, they are experiences. So when the satsang teaching fails to see these more subtle happenings as experiences, it privileges them by converting them into impossible experiential goals. This makes the goal just another phenomenal experience. A subtle one, but an experience all the same. What the nondual teachings speak about is more subtle and infinitely more pervasive than this.
We haven't read the book, but it gets 4 out of 5 turbans just for that little bit.